Aboriginal affairs

$20 million for rangers

The number of Aboriginal rangers in WA is set to grow significantly, under an expanded state government program.

Participants of the ranger program in training. Photo: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

The McGowan government committed $20 million over five years to the WA Aboriginal Ranger Programs in the last budget.

The program aims to train and employ Aboriginal people as rangers, and has recently called for applications.

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions director parks and visitors services Peter Sharp said it was a state-wide project.

“I would expect we are going to have at least 30 applications,” he said. “They’ll be state wide, because we are getting inquiries through our regional offices.”

Goldfields Land and Sea Council project manager Anthony Sherlock said his organisation found out about the program back in March during the lead-up to the WA election.

“We have got about 15 rangers at the moment all working probably part-time or casual. There is no full-time at the moment,” Mr Sherlock said.

“There is an awful amount of work out there. For me a lot of it is also about the job creation side of things.

“So we think it will really help because we can increase the number we employ, increase job skills and build them through their level 3 Conservation and Land Management certification and hopefully level 4 as well. So it means they can lead onto other jobs if they want to seek out other employment.”

Mr Sharp said the program was funded by the Royalties for Regions fund.

“We will be calling for more expressions of interest by Aboriginal groups for a second round of funding probably around March next year,” Mr Sharp said.

For more information about the program call the Aboriginal Ranger Program Coordinator on 08 9219 9933, or email AboriginalRangerProgram@dbca.wa.gov.au.